Royal London posts strong growth as advisers help sales

Added 18th August 2016

Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company, has posted strong growth in its pension and protection business driven in large part by sales to customers introduced by financial advisers.

Royal London posts strong growth as advisers help sales

The intermediary protection business was up by 24% to £287m ($377.3m, €333m) in the six months to 30 June over the same period of 2015. Group pensions rose by 66% to £1.92bn in the same period and individual pensions and drawdown products gained 17% to £1.78bn.

“The new business momentum we achieved in the second half of last year in our UK intermediary protection business has continued in 2016 and Royal London has again posted record sales results,” the company said in a statement.

Royal London said it had made efforts to improve its service to customers and their advisers with new online quotation and underwriting systems. Other enhancements include improvements to the flexibility of its drawdown products and a unique drawdown governance service.

“We have made a substantial investment in our protection proposition for customers introduced by intermediaries, making improvements to the customer journey with enhancements to the online application and underwriting processes and keener pricing,” said Phil Loney, chief executive of Royal London.

Consumer division

The UK insurer said its consumer division, which is a relatively new entrant into the market, had seen sales rise by 93% in the first half over the same six months of last year to £160m due to strong demand for protection products.

“Our direct to consumer business is now an established franchise in its chosen markets of Over 50s plans, term assurance and pre-paid funeral plans,” said Loney.

“Strong sales growth has been seen from our distribution partnerships with Cooperative Funeral Services and Ecclesiastical Insurance in the pre-paid funeral plan market. We continue to seek further strategic distribution partnerships with consumer orientated organisations,” he added.

Asset management

Royal London Asset Management, the firm's fund management arm, also managed to generate a significant rise in net flows in the first half of 2016 despite the outflows seen across the asset management industry in the run up to the Brexit vote.

RLAM added £2.3bn in net flows, versus £1.9bn in the first half of 2015. While Royal London’s wrap platform Ascentric saw assets under administration move marginally higher over the six months to £10.8bn from £10.1bn at 31 December 2015.

"RLAM recorded a strong performance in the first half of 2016 with good gross and net inflows in sharp contrast to others in the asset management sector,” said chief executive Phil Loney. "Institutional business was particularly strong, with a number of new clients investing in the credit and government bond portfolios in particular.”

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Richard Hubbard

Group Editor

Richard Hubbard is the group editor at Last Word. He is responsible for the editorial content of International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser, Expert Investor and Fund Selector Asia. Richard previously worked for Thomson Reuters and has covered the financial services industry and investment themes from its offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Richard started his career at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney.


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